For the first time since April, we were back on Dangarsleigh for club racing yesterday. The council have done a great job resurfacing the earthquake cracks in the road and there were more than a few riders hoping for a rapid out-and-back effort as a result. Mother nature had other ideas though and a strong gusting NW that just didn’t let up made for tough conditions for anyone not able to hide in a group.
There was a return to racing for Haydo who hadn’t raced since September last year and Sign-Em-Up Stace continues to have success in his rider recruitment and development role. This week new club member Greg Flynn was welcomed to the fold and set off in the safe company of the four-minute group under the watchful eye of PC and Wilko.
Jo must have wondered what she’d got herself into on the outward leg as Haydo and Derek Shirlaw set a blistering pace. At around 10km she sensibly peeled off awaiting the following group but having gone so hard early on she’d have no company until the Monument on the way home. In fact all the groups made quite slow inroads on those ahead with the exception of Scratch. With no Mick Harris this week, Houlty had inflicted a tough handicap on himself and rode with Dave Munday a minute behind Block. The pair impressively made up this time by Dangarsleigh Hall and the five riders then combined well to maintain this pace until the turn.
At the half-way point Scratch were 7 minutes in arrears of the front-runners Haydo and Shirlaw, themselves still 2 minutes clear of PC’s group. Dave Munday set off in pursuit with Rob just about managing to hang onto his wheel. They collected Col, Keglegs and Angus at The Hall but were still almost 5 minutes down on the leaders by the foot of the Monument at which point Dave’s consistent pace was simply too much for the mere mortals around him and he rode the last 5km solo leaving a trail of destruction behind.
Ahead, Greg was having a great first race but finally surrendered on the Monument climb having combined briefly with Jo and Carl as PC’s group came through. Just a little bit back down the road, a great battle was waging with the RROTY league leaders. Phil Hess and Bourkey were rolling well with the main protagonists, Alex and Chris, both with at least half an eye firmly fixed on some bonus points. However, they first needed to work together to catch Jo and looked like they would until she managed to latch onto the back of PC’s train, but could she hang on?
By now Shirlaw had dropped Haydo and punched on home for his first club race win, also clocking an average speed PB. Haydo came home 30s after followed a minute later by a 3-way tussle for third which Wilko just won from PC. Jo had managed to hang on with ease and grabbed 5th spot and the last of those crucial bonus points but Alex wasn’t certain of this. Just in case, he launched a great sprint on the downhill to finish ahead of a strong returning Phil Hess and Chris (who will tell you he’d already worked the points out and was saving his energy). 40s later a flying Dave Munday came home solo having put 1m:40s into his own bunch from the half-way point, clearly in great form and worthy of fastest time on the day.
Many thanks to Johnny for putting out the signs and running the race and also to handicapper Mick Hoult who is putting a lot of science into the process – watch out for more news on that front soon.
In the RROTY championship Alex Thomas stays top with a buffer of 2 points over Chris Stace. Mick Harris and Dave Munday are still snapping at their heels, now joined by Captain Creagan with a sizable 9-point gap now opening up between these top five riders and the chasing pack.
Houlty has completed the calendar for the rest of the year so check that out when you get a couple of minutes. It looks like we’ve got a further 7 RROTY rounds so in theory at least, it is wide open and anyone (yes, right down to 55th place) could still win it.
Next week we’re on Boorolong for RROTY Round 14, see you then!
|MUNDAY Dave||10||0:12:00||0:57:43||0:45:43||0:02:39||39.37 FT|